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Caregiver Info: How Can I Balance Caregiving and Manage My Own Life?

Are you a part of the sandwich generation? If your daily routine includes taking care of a parent while raising your kids and managing your household, you are! You are sandwiched in between the needs of your spouse and kids as well as the needs of a parent.

You probably feel a significant increase in the demands on your energy, time, health and finances. Juggling work, childcare, marriage and now the care for a parent can leave you stressed, not feeling competent and even feelings of guilt. These feelings can contribute to mental health and physical problems, overeating, no time to exercise and hypertension. Fortunately there are options that can lighten your load.

Seek Help- Not only will you feel better by reducing a significant amount of stress but the care your parent receives will probably improve. With professional help your parent may be able to remain in their own home. In a recent study 90% of seniors want to stay in their current home as long as possible, and those that do, actually fare better. Not only is Home Care an excellent option but there are many government sponsored programs available. Start by calling your local Area of Aging office for resources.

Think Proactively - Get professional advice about what to expect before a crisis occurs. Conduct a home assessment to see what safety measures need to be made. If your parent is suffering from memory loss and taking medications consider hiring someone to manage their medications. Set up a bill pay system to oversee the payments being made to ensure that your parent doesn't become a victim of financial abuse. As we age we can become more susceptible to depression. Make sure your parent stays social and doesn't become isolated.

Think Prevention - Learning how to eat right, exercise, reduce stress and live a healthy lifestyle will ensure that you and your family will be less likely to have chronic illnesses like diabetes, obesity and pulmonary disease.

Make Time For Self Care - Schedule at minimum 1 hour a day for "you time". Take a walk, read a book, listen to relaxing music, go to the gym, do something you find pleasure in and something that is good for you. Spend time with friends; go out to dinner with a spouse, schedule a weekly dinner and a movie night with neighbors. Take turns making dinner and selecting the movie.

With family members living longer, many are faced with the prospect of being a family caregiver for a significant number of years. It is important to recognize that in many cases you will not be able to handle all the needs of your loved one and you will have to rely on others for either occasional or ongoing support.

Where do you turn when a love one needs more than you can manage on your own? What do you do when some of the care alternatives seem like a complication rather than a solution? Consult Atlanta's most trusted source for quality Home Care since 1994, Easy Living Services. Flexible care plans designed to guarantee safety, comfort, and personal attention. Call us at 770-442-8664 or visit us online at:

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